Back to Group A as Euro 2012 begins its second round of matches, as Russia, the team that produced the best performance out of all 16 teams, try and bring their counter attacking against the pumped up home side, Poland. Greece will try and take advantage of the low morale at the Czech Republic camp with their usual, not so pleasing to watch style.
Greece – Czech Republic
Greece were completely outplayed by Poland in the first 45 minutes of the opening match, but managed to hang on, despite losing Sokratis to a red card. Dimitris Salpigidis came on for Sotiris Ninis and completely changed the match with a goal and winning a penalty that was missed. Fernando Santos’ team may be missing two centre backs heading into their second match, but with a feeling that they can do more against the Czechs.
On the other side of the fence, the Czech Republic are still licking their wounds from the 1-4 drubbing they received from Russia. Again, it’s not about the possession and all the futile passing 25 meters from goal. Milan Baros has to be better in order for Bilek’s team to show us a bit more spark and speed on offense. We already know their defense isn’t the most formidable and resistant to counter attacking.
Poland – Russia
The Russians meet the hosts who were slightly disappointed with their opener, letting their lead and a promising display in the first half slip away against an inferior Greek side. There won’t be any changes except between the posts, where Przemyslaw Tyton will take the reigns.
Russia might change the identity of their keeper as well, as Igor Akinfeev is probably to make his return after missing the first match due to injury. There won’t be any changes in their philosophy as well, although Poland are less willing to play a possession style match. Expect a quick paced match with both teams looking to push forward as much as possible.
Predictions – A very tough group to call, but someone has to do it. The Czech’s are worth a goal against Greece, who don’t have a strong defense like Russia has, especially with the absentees. But Greece are worth at least one as well. I see a draw there. Same goes for Russia and Poland, who’ll both leave their match with a point.
How did we do – Bad day for us yesterday, as England managed to salvage a draw against the favorites France, while the Ukraine showed Poland how hosts need to play, beating Sweden 2-1. We’re at 3 for 8 so far, 37.5%.
Game Times – Greece take on the Czech Republic in Wroclaw at 19:00 while the main course of Poland and Russia will be played in Warsaw at 21:45.